Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have You Ever Had A Michael Jordan Moment?

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." Michael Jordan

Have you ever had a "Michael Jordan moment"? 

Perhaps you are asking yourself (or me for that matter), just what is a Michael Jordan moment? Have you ever wanted to accomplish something so badly that you put your entire heart, soul and existence into accomplishing it and as a result, made it happen? THAT IS A MICHAEL JORDAN MOMENT. 

One of my favorite quotes from Michael Jordan is the following:  

I think his quote is applicable to more than just the game of basketball; it totally relates to the game of life. And I speak from recent experiences of failed career paths, failed relationships, BIG FAILURE WITH A CAPITAL F, that sometimes you lose, big the point where you feel like the joke is on you. 

Have you ever felt that way? That you were moving further and further away from what you knew in your heart of all hearts was your dream and that you were letting your life just slide by? That instead of choosing to open the appropriate doors for your life, you chose the big whopping losing doors? I know I did and I had to change that quickly.

To sink or to swim--that was the question I began asking myself towards the end of last year as I was staring failure dead in the face and letting it win. Despite having great ideas and an ability to execute them, I had also accepted the bold reality that I was NOT pursuing my dream of being an entertaining, entrepreneurial mogul, and my dream ship was sinking fast.

Why had I gone to music school, on a vocal performance scholarship mind you, and not done anything with it? Why had I not done more freelance work and gone on more auditions in LA? Why, if I knew in my heart of all hearts, that I wanted to have a star on the walk of fame, did I take every single possible job and step that went in the opposite direction of making that come true? 

Perhaps acting out of instinct (or quite possibly just acting on a whim as I often do), I signed up for stand up comedy classes in a city I had always dreamed of residing in, the city where my grandparents made their American dream come true, NYC. 

I came here 6 weeks ago with a suit case full of clothes, 4 pairs of shoes, one pillow and my laptop. I attended my first stand up comedy class with a group of random New Yorkers that I had never met before inclusive of a retired FDNY Fire Chief, some guys in advertising and my teacher. I had to get up and be funny which I had never done before in my life for an "audience" but you know what? I didn't care, not one bit, because I asked myself "If Michael Jordan's dream were to be an entertainer, what would Michael Jordan do?" 
He would give it his all, even if he thought he might fail. He would take every step towards winning. He would put in 150% effort. 

So, here I am, giving my dream my all, so much so, that tonight I graduate from comedy class and get to perform at Gotham Comedy Club, a venue that comedic greats such as Dave Chapelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David have performed at. 

And I must admit. I am a singer, those close to me know me as a vocalist. But this stand up comedy thing was something that terrified the living daylights out of me to the point that I decided to face the fear, go for it and conquer it in honor of my dream.

Now, I don't write this blog post to brag, I don't write it to show off. I wanted to share this because there is something deep down inside of you that you want and you have to put your game face on to get it. You have to find that inner Michael Jordan and train for it, train hard. Take the shots, miss the shots, take some more shots in order to score. You don't get to be the "greatest basketball player of all time" by sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.

I want my sitcom, I want my Emmy, I want my star on the walk of fame someday. And even if I never get it, even if I fail, at least I tried.

What is your dream? And what are you going to do today to start making it happen? Have you ever had a Michael Jordan moment? I sure hope so. 
September 4th, 1963...The day my maternal grandparents had their Michael Jordan moment when they immigrated to the United States. God bless America, god bless the American dream that brought my grandparents here and gave them the strength to take any and every opportunity they could in the United States. 

March 16, 2011--the day of my Michael Jordan moment. 

When will you have yours?

"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." Michael Jordan


  1. Congratulations on your Michael Jordan moment. I've been lucky to experience a couple of those over the years. When they happen, there are no words to describe the elation of accomplishment.

    I hope your debut went smoothly, but if not, don't give up. YouTube some of today's comedians and watch their early stuff. After watching some of their material one wonders how they ever made it.

    Your chosen profession takes a lot of work and preparation to make the delivery look effortless. Those that make it, never quit trying.

    You quoted Michael Jordan. I'd like to offer my pick for those moments when I need inspiration and a little nudge.

    Whenever I have hit a (metaphorical) wall and consider giving up on a project or endeavor, I immediately think about the 1999 Tim Allen movie, "Galaxy Quest". I can hear Alan Rickman, in his Shakespearian English accent, saying "Never give up. Never surrender." (I know it was Tim Allen's character quote, but Rickman's mocking delivery always stuck with me.)

    The line is corny at best. But even now, typing the words, it makes me laugh. That momentary "pause" is enough to clear my head and let me reevaluate the situation. It's silly, I know. But it works for me.

  2. Ray,

    I'd first like to thank you for following my blog! I appreciate how the Internet can connect us to people from various parts of the world. I also want to thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

    I must admit, my comedic debut was a slam dunk. Our class managed to get 200 people to a comedy club in NYC on a Wednesday night. 20 of those 200 were friends, some old--some new, that I have made in New York City.

    Since I was a kid, I have been performing on stage through the mediums of song and dance. Comedy is a new world for me but as the JaclynofAllTrades, I thought I'd give it a whirl and it rocked! I was trained by Dr. Dale Reith that rehearsal is still a performance so give 100%. As soon as I hit that stage Wednesday night, I knew I was back where I belonged. Based upon the feedback I received, the best has yet to come.

    To add to the quote you shared, I refuse to give up. Have I deviated from my path and dream at times? Yes. But I know so many people out there who doubt they can make their dreams happen. I appreciate your reminder that it takes hard work, commitment and persistence.

    Now that you know of my Michael Jordan moment, I am curious to hear one of yours! Please share and again, thank you for contributing.